Didier Drogba, one of the biggest names in world football over the last two decades, and his partner Gabrielle LeMaire will become new team owners in the UIM E1 World Championship.
The Ivory Coast striker, who won four Premier League titles, four FA Cups, and the UEFA Champions League with Chelsea between 2004 and 2015, and who also played for Marseille, Galatasaray, Shanghai Shenhua and Montreal Impact will enter his own team called Team Drogba under the colourful Ivory Coast flag for the inaugural season of the world’s first all-electric raceboat championship, getting underway later this year.
Drogba is Ivory Coast’s all-time leading scorer with 65 goals in 104 appearances. He competed in three World Cups (2006, 2010, and 2014) and two African Cup of Nations (2006 and 2012).
Throughout his career and in retirement, Drogba has risen to a leading role in promoting sustainability and environmental awareness, alongside his partner Gabrielle. Drogba’s leadership in protecting the environment and promoting sustainability align with the ambition of E1 Series’ Blue Impact program to restore at scale the marine ecosystems in the waterfronts of the cities where it races. The E1 Blue Impact program will be led by Carlos Duarte, E1’s Chief Scientist, and one of the world’s top marine biologists.
Sport and sustainability together, it’s a winning combination. Gabrielle and I are both fierce competitors so we’re going to build a strong team. We’re inspired by legends such as Senna and Schumacher, but most especially by Lewis Hamilton, winning F1 championships, breaking barriers and acting as a leader for a new generation of pilots.
Pollution has caused the destruction and loss of coastal habitats around the world. The degradation of our underwater eco-systems poses a series threat to marine life and livelihoods of coastal communities. So we want to have a positive impact through the accelerated development of clean technologies and inspiring change. But we’re also going to have fun for a great cause. Rafa and Checo, get ready! We are coming for you. And we’re here to win!Didier Drogba
Aware of the importance of sustainable development, Didier Drogba and his foundation are forging partnerships with international universities for an MSC in sustainable development, with several projects underway – underlining his commitment to the cause.
Elsewhere, the foundation focuses on providing education and healthcare for children, particularly those affected by poverty, disease, and conflict, as the underpinning to build a sustainable future.
Drogba is accompanied in his work towards making a positive impact on the planet and the lives of African children by his partner, Gabrielle LeMaire, A successful businesswoman and seasoned marketing leader, Gabrielle shares Didier’s passion to be a change-maker and to build a sustainable future. The Belgian-Ivorian entrepreneur has founded and leads Barons Agence Conseil, a communications agency working across Africa.
We are all about passion, ambition and humility when it comes to competing and promoting sustainability. And through the Didier Drogba Foundation, we work tirelessly to empower women, something which is so important to the both of us and which will be at the core of our E1 Team and our male and female racing pilots. Together we are stronger!Gabrielle LeMaire
Through their new role as team owners in the E1 series Didier and Gabrielle hope to reach global audiences to inspire them to join the race to a sustainable world for all.
Didier Drogba and Gabrielle LeMaire are a powerhouse team and together they embody everything that the E1 Championship stands for. Intense competitors and change-makers on the sports field and in the business world, they are equally passionate about the world’s oceans and building a more sustainable planet. They will bring colour, energy and action to the water. The line up of teams is getting ever more exciting as Didier and Gabrielle join the likes of Checo and Rafa. Game on!Alejandro Agag, Co-Founder and Chairman of E1
The eagerly anticipated first season of the UIM E1 World Championship is scheduled to get underway later this year. In the coming months, championship organisers will continue to accelerate preparations for the inaugural season, with more teams and race venues to be announced soon.
This team is so exciting for the E1 Series, blending diversity, inclusion and sustainability with a fire to compete and win. They are a dynamic duo that show how important it is to have equal representation and opportunities for men and women in motorsport, from the boardroom to the cockpit. And their commitment to ocean health and technological change will help take E1’s message further and wider. It’s exciting to see the fleet take shape and there’s more big announcements in the pipeline.Rodi Basso, Co-Founder & CEO of E1